Heat Protection Hair Spray (Flat Iron/Blow Dry Protection)

WillWill Member
Hey guys, hope you are all doing well.

I have been attempting (not so successfully) this hair spray to protect hair during flat iron/blow dry straightening and so on. Here is my formula:

(A) 75.65....Aqua
(A) 2.50......Vp/Va Copolymer (to give it a little hold)
(A) 2.50......Glycerin
(A) 5.00......Peg-8 Dimethicone
(A) 2.50......Panthenol
(A) 0.50......Cetrimonium Chloride (anti-static)
(A) 0.10......Potassium Sorbate
(A) 0.25......Sodium Benzoate

(B) 10.00....Alcohol Denat.
(B) 1.00......Fragrance+cynamal+limonene+linalool

After mixing them the final product looks slightly cloudy with some oil droplets afloat, any ideas what am doing wrong?

Also, do I need to raise the final pH to get this copolymer "activated"?


  • What is wrong here is that you don't have a solubiliser to dissolve 1% of fragrance oil. First of all, 1% is a lot, and you will need min 4% of solubiliser to achieve clear product, which in turn can make the product unnecessary sticky. Consider reducing amount of fragrance.

    Another consideration, VP/VA copolymers can be different, and some need a little heating (around 50C) to dissolve properly. You will be on a safe side if you dissolve it in a separate beaker with part of the water and then add to the main phase.

    2.5% of panthenol will make the product sticky withouht adding anything to the performance. Consider reducing.

    You have a pH sensitive preservative system. Make sure that the final pH is preservatives compatible.

    I can't comment on whether this formula actually protects hair from heat.

  • WillWill Member
    Thank you for your comments @ngarayeva001!

    I am going to try lowering Panthenol to 1.0% and fragrances to 0.25%. Indeed it had a sticky feel to it.

    "you will need min 4% of solubiliser to achieve clear product"... what do you mean by 4%?

    Well noted, Potassium Sorbate and Sodium Benzoate will only work on low pHs.

    All best!
  • There is no rule, as all fragrance oils are different, but usually it takes 4 parts of solubiliser to 1 part of fragrance oil. Again not a rule but an approximation. So, if you have 1% of fragrance, expect to add 4% of solubiliser to achieve a product that is not cloudy. It can be higher than 4%. In my experience citrus oils (especially sweet orange) takes more solubiliser than say, lavender.
  • WillWill Member
    Understood @ngarayeva001! Thank you!
  • Bill_TogeBill_Toge Member, Professional Chemist
    VP/VA copolymers work over a wide pH range, only old-fashioned resins like Amphomer need to be neutralised with a base
    UK based formulation chemist. Strongest subjects: hair styling, hair bleaches, hair dyes (oxidative and non-oxidative) I know some stuff about: EU regulations, emulsions (O/W and W/O), toothpaste, mouthwash, shampoos, other toiletries
  • WillWill Member
    @Bill_Toge that is interesting.. I always thought the copolymers like Amphomer by AkzoNobel (Octyl Acrylamide/Acrylates/Butylaminoethyl Methacrylate Copolymer) and Acudyne 1000 by Dow Chemical (Acrylates/Hydroxyesters Acrylates Copolymer) were the new cool stuff in the market, whereas VP/VA copolymers were more like the old-fashion ones. Those first two indeed need to be neutralized with a base to turn into their active forms.

    Which copolymer would you recommend for hair styling products like this hair spray, pomades, gels etc?
  • Bill_TogeBill_Toge Member, Professional Chemist
    edited May 2019
    @Will those two resins are very much the exception rather than the rule; also, Amphomer has been on the market a very long time, and was originally designed as a synthetic substitute for shellac in aerosol hairsprays
    the choice of resin depends on the form of the final product, the texture you want and what's available to you - the sheer variety of resins on the market is frankly staggering
    UK based formulation chemist. Strongest subjects: hair styling, hair bleaches, hair dyes (oxidative and non-oxidative) I know some stuff about: EU regulations, emulsions (O/W and W/O), toothpaste, mouthwash, shampoos, other toiletries
  • WillWill Member
    Indeed @Bill_Toge.. for people like me starting now, I really feel overwhelmed with all those commercial names and miraculous promises. I don't even know where to start. :(
  • @Bill_Toge may I ask you as a chemist, how do these products work (if they even do)? I analysed several commercial products and they all look similar to Will's formula. I don't understand how a little bit of film former, water-soluble silicone and detangler (they all look the same) supposed to protect from the heat.

  • WillWill Member
    @ngarayeva001 that's a very interesting question. There is nothing in the formula that suggests thermal protection. But in my barbershop I hear barbers telling clients to always use a beard balm before blow drying their long beards, or to use a hair pomade before blow drying their hair - in order to prevent hair breakage. So it looks like it is a common sense amongst professionals that any emollient film gives some protection.

    As a biologist, my (wild) guess is that the emollients in the formula might protect the hair from all the heavy stretching and brushing involved in the process, by making the keratin fibers more flexible, while the polymers might work by sealing the keratin scales together making it more resistant from the mechanical stress.

    So at the end it might have very little to do with heat itself :grimace:

  • Hi @Will,

    It looks like it's not very straightforward question. I raised a topic about it and Perry shared some insights:


    Ther is also a video by the institute of personal care science:


    A conclusion is that some special polymers might provide a certain level of thermal protection. I don't think, however, that it's required for a blow drier. It is more relevant for a flat iron. 
  • Unknown Member
    edited August 2019
    Did you make it at home? I never used it before so I dont have any idea about it how its work. I use only Regenepure hair spray and shampoo and all its products for my hairs because of sensitive skin and they use ingredients without using chemicals, I bought them from Regenepure coupon I suggest you try once you will definitely get a good result. 
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